The Osaka prefectural and municipal governments announced on Tuesday that the opening of MGM’s casino resort on Yumeshima artificial island in Osaka Bay has been postponed to the autumn of 2030. This delay is attributed to the protracted process of gaining central government approval and an unexpected surge in construction material costs.

Originally, when the development plan was submitted to Japan’s central government in April 2022, the resort’s opening was scheduled for the autumn or winter of 2029. However, the central government only approved the project in April of this year, causing a setback to the overall timeline.

In addition to the delay, the Osaka government has revealed that the initial investment required for the project will increase from the previously estimated JPY1.08 trillion ($7.34 billion) to JPY1.27 trillion ($8.63 billion). This upward revision in costs is primarily a result of the soaring prices of construction materials in recent years.

US casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp are the main investors in the project.

The Osaka City Council passed a bill approving IR plans in March of 2022, with the city aiming to lease 49 hectares of land in Yumeshima to the planned operator under a 35-year lease for an annual rental fee of JPY2.5 billion ($18.4 million).

The Osaka IR plans to include hotels and amenities, including MGM Osaka, MGM Villas, and the MUSIIB Hotel, with a total of 2,500 guest rooms. It will also include a variety of dining and food & beverage offerings, retail space, a spa, a fitness center, and banquet halls.

Early in May, MGM Resorts revealed that the Osaka IR is expected to be launched within the first or second quarter of 2030.

According to the latest update, the Osaka railway operator intends to start operating a 3.2-kilometer rail link to the artificial island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay by the middle of 2024.

The 2025 Osaka Expo is to be held on Yumeshima Island, the same location where MGM Resorts International is developing Japan’s first casino resort.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.